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Nov 14, 2012

Ibrahimovic urges Gerrard to move abroad

Sweden skipper Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes his England counterpart Steven Gerrard should leave Liverpool and join "a big international club".

• Gerrard recalls England heartache

Ibrahimovic and his Sweden team-mates will take on the Three Lions on Wednesday in Stockholm in an international friendly. On the eve of the clash, the Paris Saint-Germain striker revealed his admiration for Gerrard, but feels the time is right for him to move away from the Premier League.

"I think Steven Gerrard is respected throughout Europe," Ibrahimovic said. "I know so because he is always the player the coach says be careful with because he is the one that makes the difference.

"But, although of course Liverpool is a big club, I would like to see Steven at a big international club. I would like to see that also for England because it is very exciting when someone goes abroad and shows who he is also in another competition.

"For me, a fantastic player can make the difference in every country wherever he plays. I'm pretty sure Steven would do that also. Now he is playing one of the best leagues in the world, a fantastic player.

"A typical English player is strong with a big heart, always aggressive and never gives up. But, for me, Gerrard feels more international. He has more skills than the normal player."

Sweden were beaten 3-2 by Roy Hodgson's side at Euro 2012 and Ibrahimovic is anticipating another close encounter this time around.

"That game was a 50-50 one, we could have won it and England could have won it. We did a good game, we came back from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 and then we lost the game 3-2," he said.

"Playing against English teams is always exciting, difficult games, even in the club matches. If it was my best performance against English opposition, I don't know. I always try to play well. That game went well. I also played well for Barcelona against Arsenal."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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